4/1/11 – Zermatt and Cervinia: border cross

En route to Bontadini's on the 8.24 Gornergrat

‘Twelve Slugs Bourgignonne Style’ proclaims the English menu at Bontadini, Cervinia. This week I’ve been in Zermatt, whose mountain restaurants are acclaimed, but for me this one, just over the Italian border from the Theodulpass, beats anything on the Swiss side – not only for value but for setting and service. On Tuesday I sidestepped the slugs and opted for tagliatelle with deer (14 Euros) while celebrating a friend’s birthday there, also factoring in an Italian piste-bashing tour. It’s a great way to avoid crowds early in the week: most people wait till midweek to cross the border.

If you catch the 8.24 Gornergrat train you can zoom to Furi, take the Trockener Steg bubble and Klein Matterhorn cable car – queueless at that hour – and be in Valtournenche by 10.30. You’ve time to whizz to Cervinia – just as the Italians are waking up – and catch a chilly succession of chairs to arrive at Bontadini, with its picture windows, woodburners and jolly waiters, by midday. If there’s no room in the smart side (book if you can), the self-service is decent too: carbonara (9 Euros) is spot on, especially with a glass of Barbera (5 Euros for 3.75cl).

My tip for the afternoon? Up and down the much-overlooked bubble and chairs between Furgg and Furggsattel, taking in the moguls on the steeper lower half, or peeling off towards the Matterhorn, either on to the steeper Garten off-piste, or the picturesque red run.

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Filed under Food and drink, Italy, Switzerland

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